A brand new mini dress with psychedelic swirls of hot pink and lime green . . . my big sister “ratting” the crown of my new short haircut and sealing it in place with Aqua Net, the cement of hair sprays . . . a little bit of mascara (shhhh . . . don’t tell mom) . . . a touch of white frosted lipstick and I was out the door.
But OH, how I was shaking in my hot pink heels. You see, it was my first day of Junior High and I was so afraid that I wouldn’t be sophisticated enough to fit in.
All my worries were for naught . . . as most of our worries tend to be. I found a new best friend the very first day and went back to my normal mode of dress from that day forward, realizing that 7th graders aren’t very sophisticated after all.
THAT is one of the memories of Fall that sticks out in my mind. It is a good memory and a somewhat traumatic memory all at the same time! I think it taught me a thing or two about trying to fit in though. Flash forward to today . . . some (EEK!) 46 years later and remember . . . authenticity is always best.
So what about you dear readers? What memories do you have of Fall? What is the happiest memory you carry? What is your favorite thing about this time of year?
I don’t suppose you have to ask me what my favorite thing is because it is pretty obvious that I have a passion for decorating and making my home a welcoming place to be, each and every season. It is especially fun this year to be decorating a brand new (to me) home.
I promised you in my post A GRAND FALL PORCH that I would be back to share with you my absolute best method for creating gorgeous velvet pumpkins. I learned by trial and error so you don’t have to! So lets get started:
First of all, the Old Things New part. I hit the thrift stores last Fall and searched out velvet and velour fabrics in pretty “Fallish” colors. My pumpkins were made from old pillows, dresses and blouses. You can make a whole LOT of pumpkins out of one woman’s full length dress, which is fun because then you’ll have some to give away to friends. They will be delighted!
I created several sizes of pumpkins, using different sized plates as patterns. The smallest pumpkin was traced from a salad plate and the largest from a serving tray. I suppose you could have a REALLY big pumpkin if you traced it from something like a big aluminum snow sled! How fun would that be?!
NOTE: For the pumpkin stems, you can dry stems taken from your own pumpkins OR, if you want a lot of them (like I did), you can walk through local pumpkins fields just after harvest and pick up what’s left behind (I actually did that . . . with permission of course). The problem with that was I wanted to make velvet pumpkins . . . and I wanted to make them NOW! So while my collected pumpkin stems were drying I ended up buying stems from an Etsy shop.
Begin by hand basting around the edges of your fabric circle with some extra strength thread. Then pull the thread to gather the edges together, leaving just enough room to add the filler.
Now for my tried and true tips:
Tip number 1: Add some beans to the bottom of the pumpkin, filling it about one third of the way. This will give your pumpkin stability so it won’t tip over.
Tip number 2: Be careful not to stuff your pumpkin too much. Add polyester filler until your pumpkin is about three-quarters full, then pull your basting thread tight and tie it off. Stuffing the pumpkin too full will make the pumpkin stems will look like they are sitting on top of the velvet pumpkin, rather than growing from it.
Tip number 3: THIS tip is why I call this the BEST way to make velvet pumpkins. Attach the stems with E6000 and then scrunch the pumpkin up around the stem and rubber band it in place until it dries. Overnight is best. Remove the rubber bands and voila . . . gorgeous velvet pumpkin!
But what if you have a mess up and it doesn’t look so gorgeous . . . like if you accidentally glop glue on top of the velvet, or you stuff it a bit too much and the stem doesn’t sit down inside the velvet nicely, or if your stitching shows, or whatever . . . ?
One of my most viewed posts was this display of pumpkins contained in my junky chicken wire cloche. To see more pics and to view the cloche tutorial you can link back HERE
Finally, another cloche filled with pumpkins. The Chevron patterned one was made from an old pillow cover and the little pumpkin on top was made from drop cloth fabric. Aren’t they darling? These pumpkins have a whole different look and were shared in a tutorial by the amazing Shannon over at AKA Design. Head on over to her place to see the “how to” and while you’re there check out the rest of her blog. It is packed with creative and inspirational goodness!
An added NOTE: Jonni at Minnie’s Milestones made some of her own velvet pumpkins after reading this post and she has come up with a few extra tips that are extremely helpful. Head on over to her blog to see her pretty pumpkins and get some additional ideas!
So what’s next? So far I’ve shown you the front porch of my new house. Next I’ll be taking you inside where I’ve added a little more Fall decor. I hope you’ll come back and join me. I’m off now to find a Starbucks so I can savor one of my other favorite things about Fall, Pumpkin Spice Lattes!